Wednesday, May 24, 2006

NL Pythagorean Standings - Week 8
By Zach

Your local paper might list the MLB standings each morning, and a variety of sports websites update them daily. But usually, the won-loss record doesn't exactly tell the whole story. That's why we have Pythagorean wins. Tuesdays, I'll take a look at the AL Standings, while Wednesdays I'll examine the NL. Thanks to Hardball Times for the data.

NL East
TeamRealExpected
New York27-1725-19
Philadelphia23-2121-23
Atlanta23-2325-21
Washington17-2920-26
Florida13-3118-26


Egads are the Marlins bad in close (two runs or less) games. Their record of 6-17 is the worst in baseball. Part of the reason is that they're only stranding 67% of baserunners, second worst in the NL. Their bullpen has been putrid, with closer Joe Borowski leading the way. A variance of five wins this early in the season is almost unbelievable, but I suppose that's what happens when your team is mostly made up of AAA players.

NL Central

TeamRealExpected
St. Louis30-1629-17
Cincinnati27-1925-21
Houston25-2122-24
Milwaukee23-2321-25
Chicago18-2716-29
Pittsburgh14-3218-28


As a team, the Cardinals are hitting .271/.348/.421, making them a slightly above average team in the NL. However, there's a sense around baseball that the phenomenal play of Albert Pujols is masking an otherwise shaky offense. How true is that? Well, without Albert, the Cardinals are more like .265/.330/.377. Only the Cubs and Padres are worse. Thus, if Albert slows down, or even worse gets hurt, this offense could go in the tank quick. While no one knows if the Reds, Astros, or Brewers would be capable of making up the difference, this extreme reliance on one player (no matter how good) can't bode well for a potential playoff run.

NL West

TeamRealExpected
Arizona26-1926-19
Los Angeles26-2029-17
Colorado25-2123-23
San Francisco24-2224-22
San Diego24-2224-22


A week later, the NL West remains the best division in baseball, or at least the only one which can boast of having all five teams over .500. Additionally, we typically don't think of the Dodgers of as an elite team, but the run differential says maybe we should. Only St. Louis is allowing fewer runs per game, and the Dodgers are doing it with much better strikeout and walk numbers. Even more impressively, they lead the NL in runs per game, bolstered by a stellar .359 team OBP (tops in the NL). Will it keep up? It would certainly be surprising to see the Dodgers be an elite offensive team. But right now, they look like the squad to beat in a tough division.

See you all next week.

1 Comments:

Blogger Ben Valentine said...

Dodgers with an OBP that good? Paul DePodesta for executive of the year... oh wait. My bad. It must be the great Ned Coletti's brilliant genius which is keeping JD Drew and Brad Penny healthy so far this year.

2:20 AM  

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